A new $1.5-million field house is being proposed for the Cowichan Sportsplex.
The Cowichan Sportsplex is a regional outdoor sports, fitness and recreation park covering more than 26 acres in the Valley that typically sees more than 200,000 visits each year.
A delegation from the Chesterfield Sports Society, which runs the administration of the Sportsplex, will be appearing before Municipality of North Cowichan council at its meeting on Dec. 5.
The delegation is expected to ask that North Cowichan apply on behalf of the society for a grant from the Community, Cultural and Recreation Program to assist in funding the new field house, which would replace aging washrooms and office space, and provide an upgrade with new change rooms/showers and a multi-purpose meeting room.
The program is a joint federal/provincial initiative that provides funds of up to $134-million for infrastructure projects around the province.
Local governments can qualify for up to 73 per cent of the funding for a project that meets eligibility guidelines.
Society spokesman Jim Dias said in a letter to council that the remaining balance of the construction costs of the project, approximately $388,000, could be financed on a 50/50 cost share basis between the municipality and the society.
He said that, as North Cowichan would be the applicant of record, it must, in accordance to the grant guidelines, be responsible for any cost overruns in the budget to build the new field house.
“It should be noted by council that the sports society is also scheduled to appear before the City of Duncan council and the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s board and will be asking for financial support,” Dias said.
“The Rotary Club of Duncan will be considering a sizable commitment as well, but needs the support of its membership. The society will be asking the BC Summer Games Legacy Fund Committee for a share of the 2018 Legacy proceeds and, finally, we will be seeking out all other sources of funding through a number of other grants available for the type of facility we are building at the Sportsplex.”
Dias reminded council that, aside from the benefits of providing a first-class recreational facility for the community, the benefits of which include fitness for all ages, there has been significant economic spin offs for the Valley in the past from activities hosted at the Sportsplex.
“The Sportsplex and its facilities have hosted many major events over the years, including the 2018 BC Summer Games, the North American Indigenous Games in 2008, and the BC Senior Games in 2005,” he said.